hakarat hatov

Thanks and Recognition

iloveyourblogFirst, I want to give a big thank you to the Babysitter for giving me a blog award.. I am a big fan of her other blog, the Jewish Side, especially her parsha posts. I’ll have to think about whom to send this next.




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Next, a congratulations to Jew Wishes for her nomination as a 2008 Weblog Award Finalist. Other blogs that I read that were nominated include Israel Matzav, Daled Amos, and Atlas Shrugs.

Did any blog that you read get nominated?

*Thank you to Mother in Israel to alerting me to the 2008 Weblog Awards Finalists list.*

An Award and A Meme

Robin of Around the Island awarded me with this lovely Superior Scribbler award. I rather like it; he’s got this cute determined look on his face.

I’m going to pass it on to Lorri at http://jewwishes.wordpress.com/ (she should work for Israel “hasbara” (public relations), she would do a much better job than whoever is in charge now), Michelle at RamblingWoods (learn about Benji the goose and view her beautiful upstate New York world), Shimshonit (who writes on motherhood and living in Israel and 1960’s/1970’s music), and Ralph aka Airhead55 (who is often posting pictures of bygone years; I love the nostalgia).

And then yesterday, when life was just as crazy as ever, I get this comment on my blog:
u have been tagged

Doesn’t that look like spam to you? I nearly marked it as spam, and then I noticed the name, Hadassah. Not a lot of spammers have the name “Hadassah”. Sure enough, it wasn’t spam, but Hadassah Sabo, delivering a meme to seven bloggers!

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog. (done)
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird. (done)
3. Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. (done)
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs. (in process)

Seven facts about me:
1. I love pottery (I did it for ten years), and I look forward to the day I can do it again.

2. I love to ski.

3. Painting helps me keep my sanity.

4. My favorite of all the websites I have designed is The Highland Park Public Library.

And a favorite post for each of my three kids (facts 5, 6 and 7):
  girl ghost

And the lucky winners are:

TriLCat, who is on bed rest and hardly ever blogs, but maybe this will coax her
Esser Agaroth

I feel so accomplished, now that I’ve finished this post!

The Kreplach Blog Awards

I love your blog awardBefore the Jewish holidays, Lorri of http://jewwishes.wordpress.com/ awarded me with this cheery “I heart your blog” award. I decided to wait until the end of the holidays to pass the award on to some bloggers.

Drum roll, please.

Oh, wait, before the drum roll, here’s a joke:

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Once upon a time there was a little boy who didn’t like kreplach (a kreplach is a Jewish wonton). So his mother decided she would take him in the kitchen while she made the kreplach. First, she prepared the dough. “What are you making?” asked the boy. “You’ll see,” replied the mother. Next she rolled out the dough. Yum, said the little boy. Then she cut the dough into squares. Mmmm, said the child. She took some meat and placed a bit in one of the squares. Yum, yum, said the little boy. She folded over one corner. Mmm, continued the boy. She folded over the next. The boy looked on with expectation. She folded over another corner, then the final corner.

“Yuck, kreplach!” declared the little boy.

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Back to the drum roll…

The first kreplach award goes to Mimi at Israeli Kitchen. She had a fabulous post about kreplach right before Yom Kippur. Visit her blog for trips to Israeli markets, to Tsefat, and to delicious food and recipes.

The next kreplach award is being delivered to Mottel at Letters of Thought, who has taken us to Russia and South America, complete with beautiful scenery. Recently, Mottel became an Israeli in a post with views of the Andes. One cannot predict where Mottel will take us next.

Next we will visit Mrs. S. at Our Shiputzim, who seems to love posting about her construction. I enjoy her sense of humor and friendliness.

Finally, the Babysitter (who has been blogging for a while about babysitting on her blog The Babysitter Writes) started a brand-new blog, The Jewish Side. Good luck with it!

If you feel like passing the award onward (I always recommend a bit of hakaras hatov, recognition of good, in one’s life and blog), here are the rules:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog

2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you

3) Nominate at least 4 other blogs (I changed this to four; two are fine, really!)

4) Add links to those blogs on your blog

5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs (or via email)!

A Fish Head, An Award

I love your blog awardMy friend Jientje of Heaven in Belgium loves awards. It is fun to live vicariously through other people’s photos; recently, she traveled to Portugal, and anyone who visited her blog got to go along. One of my favorite of her recent posts was her poppy photos; she found them in every nook and cranny in Provence! One of the photos she took was a of a fish head; since I need a fish head for a post on Rosh Hashana, she said I could use it (and I will be sure to link back to her!). Somehow a fish head from Portugal seems authentic, like one that might have been used back in the 15th century by the Jews of Portugal. Jientje is not Jewish, so she probably wasn’t looking for traces of the Jewish community on her trip, but I did get interested in exploring Portugese Jewish history.

This wasn’t the first time she gave me an award. I’ve already given blog awards to some of my daily favorites (including Ilana-Davita, Gail (I just linked to one of my favorite songs), Mom in Israel (who’s in your neighborhood?), Daniel Saunders, Robin (bougainvillea alert), Batya (she’s got my garden!), Michelle (a Paul McCartney tidbit here)).

I’m going to give this award to a category I’m going to call the late-night mommy bloggers. This are women who write late night posts amidst their busy lives:

I’ll Call Baila – I did call her, when I was in Israel, but we didn’t manage to meet. I had fun working on this post of her town with her. She recently started working full-time again. And she wants you to send funds so she can see Paul McCartney (or did that happen already? Oh, well).

SuperRaizy – Her latest has been to draw attention to those protecting child molesters instead of exposing them. Yes, it is outrageous. She also would like to see Paul in concert, but for her, you’ll have to pay for the airfare, too, as she’s in New York. Unless Paul is playing in New York soon?

HaddasahBo – Her latest post really touched me. An excerpt:

Of course when I got home I had a complete and total meltdown. What was I thinking? That I could manage to work and run the house and be a good mom and have some me-time? Hardee-har-har! … But I managed. My nap energized me. I woke up, the kids got home, we cooked supper, we did homework, we ate together, laundry got done, I even cut the boys’ hair, I managed to get them all showered and pajamaed and bedded – and ended off the evening with a lovely conversation with a new friend (that’s me-time right?) .

A Living Nadneyda – Always striving to keep the balance. She’s got some great posts on therapy that I am planning to read carefully, after I finish this post.

Juggling Frogs – Yup, the blog name says it all. I loved her post about worm boxes. She brings lots of enthusiasm to all her posts. And to her twitterings, too. Did I mention she was the very first person to comment on my blog?

So, thanks, Jientje, for another opportunity for hakarat hatov (recognition of good).

Fish head post coming soon.

Awards to Photo Bloggers, Mostly

Just last week I responded to a blog challenge, passed on to me by Ilana-Davita. I mentioned quite a few of my favorite bloggers on that post. Then on Thursday, I get awarded this sweet little award by Jientje, who has a lovely blog called Heaven in Belgium:

What did I do for this award? I just look at her beautiful photos and tell her how much I enjoy them. And I learn about Belgium. It seems that sunshine is always a pleasant surprise there, the few days that they get some sun. I learned a little about Belgium previously from a friend who grew up there; if you skip down to the bottom of the post, you’ll see where he now lives.

Since I didn’t award Ilana-Davita in my last list, I’ll put her first here:

Ilana-Davita: I never would have believed one could make friends blogging, but I really feel like I have found a special friend! Her posts, varying from her cozy reading nook to a review or of a book or a movie, are warm and welcoming. Her photos are charming, and her recipes delicious. We’ve studied the Book of Ruth and Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) together, and now we are discussing Psalms as our next possible topic. I highly recommend the banana cake, which I made on Friday.

Next, let’s visit the rambling woods:
Michelle: Her blog is beautiful. If you like mama ducks and baby ducks, she has photographed many, and she will tell you all about the birds and other critters that live near her. And every time she leaves me a comment on my blog, I enjoy hearing what she has to say.

And now to Norway, where I don’t know what’s written but the views are fabulous:
Stine’s hverdag

Also in Norway, see Huset Med Det Rare I Absolutely stunning photos

And…in the South Pacific? Not sure, but this is Fish Whisperer’s blog:
Picture This Digital Photography

If you enjoy photos of Israel, be sure to visit Dina:
Jerusalem Hills Daily

Janet has a fun Wednesday “What is it?”; see great photos on her blog with the cool name:
Fond of Snape

And a big, big thank you to Mary/Teach, who runs Ruby Tuesday at Work of the Poet and always has something nice to say about my photos!

Finally, just to throw you all off course from all these great photo bloggers, I’ll mention one political blogger:

Carl in Jerusalem at Israel Matzav

and now I’ll say nothing else about politics. But I will show you one photo of where my friend who grew up in Belgium now lives. It’s an area that gets lots and lots of sun:
It’s in Israel; can anyone tell me where in Israel?

Finally, if you want have fun with this and go forward, please post this little award on your blog, pass it on to at least seven new bloggers, and link back to me (thank you). There’s a little expression in Hebrew called “Hakarat HaTov”, recognition of the good, and I like to think that we can spread a little good recognition around the planet.

Comments on Comments

penThis is a “baby” blog. It was born in December 2007. One of the ways I hope to bring it from babyhood to toddlerdom is by honoring my commenters.

Taking a cue from the Rambam, the twelfth-century philosopher and expert in Jewish law who talks about 8 degrees of charity, I came up with 4 levels of commenting etiquette.

Level One: this is kind of a pre-level. It just learning how to leave a comment on someone else’s blog. You are not writing a whole post, but stating something in as clear a fashion as you can.

Level Two: Thank those who leave comments on your site. I still remember when I posted a comment on E-Kvetcher’s site on loshon hara (laws of gossip–a topic I would like to blog about, some time, some day). Look what a nice comment he left for me, after I left a few longish comments (I initiated the use of the term ‘blab’): “Leora, welcome and feel free to blab away.”

Level Three: If someone comments on your site, and you have never visited their site, go back and visit their site. And leave a comment. On something. Here was Jack’s first comment on my site, on my anti-pantyhose post: “Men are far more practical. No pantyhose, no pumps, no girdles.” So I went back to his site to find a post on which I could leave a comment. No comment on the particular post I found; it was one of Jack’s strange ones. I’ll give a link to Jack’s Comments on Commenting instead.

Level Four: Finally, the highest level is to link to a blogger or a blogger’s post in one of your posts. Search engines don’t follow the links in comments. But they do follow the links in posts. So here are links to blog posts by people who commented in the past week:

Finally, thank you to Jill, and here’s a link to her Flower for Kiersten painting.

Hakarat hatov = Recognizing the good (Hebrew expression)